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Destination Dissertation


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1: Preparing to Go: The Dissertation Journey Can a Dissertation Really Be a Trip? Packing Your Bags Our Guarantees Your Travel Agents How to Use This Guide 2: The Journey before You: 29 Steps Our Timetable Yeah, But . . . 3: Planning the Trip: The Conceptual Conversation Selecting and Orienting a Partner Asking and Answering Questions Identifying Key Pieces 4: Developing Your Itinerary: The Preproposal Naming the Problem Formulating Your Research Question Selecting Your Data Identifying Your Method of Data Collection Identifying Your Method of Data Analysis Identifying the Literature to Review Identifying the Significance of Your Study Identifying Your Chapters Writing Your Preproposal Assessing Your Decisions Committing to the Preproposal with Your Advisor 5: Advice from Other Travelers: The Literature Review Coding Your Literature Cutting Apart Your Codes Sorting Your Codes Checking Your Piles Creating Your Conceptual Schema Writing It Up 6: Getting There: The Dissertation Proposal Introduction Research Question Definition of Terms Literature Review Research Design Significance of the Study Outline of the Study Recap: Sections of a Dissertation Proposal Approval of the Proposal 7: Things to See and Do: Data Collection and Analysis Collecting Your Data Creating Codable Data Identifying Your Unit of Analysis Coding Your Data Sorting Your Codes Checking Your Codes Creating Your Explanatory Schema Getting Inspiration for Your Explanatory Schema Assessing Your Explanatory Schema Writing It Up 8: Making the Most of Your Travels: The Last Chapter Plus Summary Interpretation of Findings Limitations Suggestions for Future Research Three-Article Format Finishing Up 9: Useful Phrases: Writing and Editing Fast Writing Slow Revising 10: Travelogue: The Dissertation Defense Preparing for Your Defense The Defense Itself Following Your Defense 11: Making the Best Use of Your Guide: Advisor Advising Asking Appropriately Agreeing on a Vision Articulating Needs Enacting Professionalism Assessing Your Relationship 12: Avoiding Delays and Annoyances: Enacting the Scholar Role Incomplete-Scholar Roles Enacting the Scholar Role: Writing Regularly Index About the Authors

About the Author

Sonja K. Foss is professor of communication at the University of Colorado at Denver. She created and is co-director of Scholars' Retreat, designed to provide intensive, focused, and supervised writing time for dissertations, theses, and other writing projects. William Waters is associate professor of English at the University of Houston, Downtown and co-director of Scholars' Retreat.


With relevant, realistic, and easily accessible information, this book covers a wide array of issues pertinent to one of the most important milestones of a graduate education-the creation of a dissertation. It is an outstanding book, and adopting it may only lead to better guidance on my part, and success for my students. -- Alexis O. Miranda, California Lutheran University
Destination Dissertation is a great addition to any course that seeks to explain the dissertation process to students. Helpful advice and guidance is plentiful and the step-by-step process of completing a dissertation offered by Foss and Waters will help students view the journey as one they can navigate. -- Mary Madden, University of Maine

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